Out again this morning around the Weaver Bend and then around No.6 tank.
A Barn Owl was along Brook Furlong Lane as I made my way out to the River Weaver.
A Mute Swan family have now lost one of their cygnets and have been joined by 5 more adults to make a winter herd. There were small flocks of Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew noted flying up river with part of the flock settling at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal – Weaver estuary. A Common Sandpiper and a Ringed Plover both flew across the river while a Green Sandpiper was at the ‘Shooters’ Pool’. A Sparrowhawk was hunting along the river bank as was a Kestrel. At the canal junction a Peregrine spooked a flock of Lapwing and godwits in to the air, while a Lapwing flock took their frustration out on a Jay crossing the river forcing it to take cover immediately when it could find some.
A c200 strong flock of Goldfinch were around Marsh Farm and both Stonechat & 2 Wheatear were on the pipes that cross No.1 tank.
My walk eventually took me to No.6 and while there a skein of c79 Pink-footed Goose flew overhead towards the Frodsham Score. Another much smaller skein of 12 flew over from the east out across the estuary heading west.
There were further smaller flocks of Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the shallow waters of No.6 and they were joined by 6 Ruff and another Green Sandpiper was noted. Duck numbers have increased with Mallard reaching 23 and Common Teal hitting a dizzy 12.
A Common Buzzard was seen carrying prey which in turn was mugged by a pair of Raven over No.3. The ‘Splashing Pool’ was quiet with a small flock of Shoveler which commuted between there and the Canal Pools.
A Kingfisher showed well along the Moorditch Lane.
A few butterflies like Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and smaller White’s were on the wing in the sunnier spots away from the stiff breeze with darters being obvious.
The pale morph Common Buzzard finally gave itself up to my camera this afternoon whilst I was building a dry stone wall at Weston…resistant is eventually futile.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 4-6) with additional sightings by Arthur Harrison, Paul Crawley (images 2-3 & 7 & 9-10) & WSM (images 8 & 11).